This week was one of those weeks.
I think I looked at the digital clock on my microwave at least five times every day wishing it was 8 pm.
4:45?! There is no way it is only 4:45. Is that clock broken? Did we lose power at some point during the day and I failed to notice? It’s at least 7 pm.
The days drug on. We were all sick, myself included, which never helps the situation. Mike is working even longer hours due to being in school. He’s getting his MBA because he cares about education and crap like that.
In the moment, these days are eternal. Parents, especially moms, can’t wait until bedtime. After bedtime, we get to lay out like a complete mom-blob and do nothing but breathe oxygen if we choose to do so, which is fabulous and super enjoyable. Who knew that not moving and just breathing could bring so much pleasure?
A few days ago, I was studying my son as he was independently playing in his playroom (this independent play hardly ever happens, so I was soaking it in). I suddenly was overwhelmed with emotion which left me fighting back tears standing in the hallway.
He’s getting so big. How is he this big? He’s just a baby.
This is my firstborn, so for the first time I am starting to see what it means to have a child “grow up” before my eyes. It hit me like a ton of bricks. The day before I was basically wishing away time that I’ll never get back with my son and now I was quietly blubbering away in a dark hallway because he was growing too fast. I am home with my kids every single day and it’s still not enough.
The harsh reality is that the time we get with our children is far from unlimited. It slips away entirely too fast and when it’s gone, it’s gone forever and all that we are left with are the memories that we try to never forget. This is terrifying to me since my memory is horrible. If I didn’t meet you last week, then I won’t remember you, so how am I supposed to remember details about my son’s childhood? Will I even remember anything?! This thought makes me so sad.
I’ve really been trying to make every minute count with my kids, especially my toddler since he is at the age of demanding attention from me every second of my life. I know that I will be supplied with many amazing memories and I only hope that my children will be as well.
The truth is that we have no clue which memories our child’s brain will hold onto. Will Von remember the sick day we had where we did nothing but “play cars” and watch his favorite tv show on repeat? (Probably not at the age of two, but you get what I’m saying here.) Sure our kids will remember big events, but what about the small day to day activities?
I personally have great memories as a child. Of course I remember most family vacations and exciting Christmas mornings, but along with those big memories are random blips of insignificant moments such as these:
- My mom and dad slow dancing in the living room to a Garth Brooks CD. Nothing important was happening, I just remember watching from a nearby room.
- My mom sitting and playing Barbies with me, but I kept getting frustrated because I didn’t understand why Mommy’s Barbies took so many naps. My mom will admit she was never that great at playing Barbies.
- The epic “Fart Investigation of 1998”. We were on a road-trip and one of us kids let one loose in the car and wouldn’t fess up. (We were all in a lying phase at the time.) My dad pulled the car over and put his hand on our chest to see whose heart was racing. That would reveal the culprit. No one ever confessed and it is now a cold case. He’ll never know.
- I remember talking to my mom about “the birds and the bees” for the first time and how I asked, “So how often do you and dad do it then?” I’ll never forget my mom’s reaction, “Well honey, that’s our private business….. So I am not going to answer that.” Oh, I would pay big money to go back and be a fly on the wall watching that conversation.
We don’t know what will stick with our kids for the rest of their lives. Why do I remember my parents dancing in the living room, but I can’t remember our first Disney cruise we took? I remember wrestling and laughing with my dad in my PJ’s at night, but I don’t remember my first day at a brand new school. You would think, as an eight-year-old, I would have been terrified enough to always remember that day.
In the grand scheme of things, we don’t have a lot of time with our children. They go to school at the ripe age of five, then instantly they are in college, then they are married and their spouses take our place. They become number one and mom gets a phone call here and there.
Ugh. Hold up, I’m starting to tear up.
Can’t see the computer screen.
Can’t see what I’m typing…. hudiwhd dbyw gsyai. Jihs wlbuhd.
K. I’m back.
Why do I look at that clock? Why am I wishing time to speed up?
As moms, especially stay at home moms, it’s really easy to get sucked into the routine of looking forward to bedtime. I myself am SO guilty of this crime. In no way am I saying this to put shame on you, but next time you find yourself in this state of mind, challenge yourself to find the good in the moment. Even if the only good thing you can think of, is that your children are alive (because currently, everything else straight up sucks). Having your children alive and able to scream “NO” in your face may not feel like a gift, but it absolutely is. This has been something I have started working on myself. Taking a situation where I want to pull my hair out or yell at a toddler, stepping back, saying something that I am thankful for out loud (the out loud part really helps, no clue why) and gaining my composure.
Because there will come a time where I’d give anything to be able to go back to when Von was two-years-old and refusing to nap.
One day, I look at my husband, teary eyed and say, “I just want that time back.”
– Until the next time this Redhead rambles.
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